UNC's Baddour focused on Kenan renovations, not his future
Posted November 20, 2008
Chapel Hill, N.C. — North Carolina athletics director Dick Baddour is pleased, but not satisfied with the rise of the football program. He is working to renovate Kenan Stadium and make some upgrades to the Smith Center too.
But is he retiring when his contract ends next summer? No, he’s not thinking about that.
Baddour’s two-year deal expires in the summer of 2009. In his 11 years, he has hired Roy Williams, fired two football coaches and hired Butch Davis to turn around the football program. And he has worked to upgrade UNC’s facilities across the board.
What’s next? Well, plenty and he seemed surprised when asked Thursday if Saturday’s State-Carolina football game might be his last between the two rivals as the UNC athletics director.
Leaving his post, Baddour said, is “not something I spend time thinking about.”
Baddour, who graduated from UNC in 1966, signed a contract when James Moeser was chancellor. He said he enjoys working with new chancellor Holden Thorp.
“I feel very good about that relationship,” he said. “I’m happy in what I’m doing.”
Baddour insisted he doesn’t think at all about his future at the school. He said he wants to feel like he is making a contribution and “if it suits the university and me, then we’ll continue.”
What is interesting is the UNC athletics department is as strong as it has been in his tenure. Baddour lost Mack Brown as head coach early in his tenure and hired, and eventually fired, Carl Torbush and John Bunting to run the football program. He hired Matt Doherty as basketball coach, a move that did not work out.
Now, he has a department that is seeing success at many levels. The football program is headed toward a bowl. The men’s basketball team is ranked No. 1. The women’s basketball team is playing in the Smith Center this year while Carmichael Auditorium undergoes a substantial renovation.
The baseball program has been to the College World Series two straight years and Boshamer Stadium is being renovated.
Of immediate concern is renovating Kenan. Baddour said he is involved in that project every day. After the season, Carolina plans to add a fifth deck to the football offices on the west side. More renovations are ahead, but the faltering economy is slowing UNC’s plans.
“The economy is having an impact,” Baddour said. “We’re in the process of sorting out how we want to stage that.”
But we want to keep it moving.”
He wants to keep the football program moving, too.
“In hiring Coach Davis, we talked about how, as a university we needed to step up. But this is not where we want to be. Our goal is to compete for the national championship,” Baddour said.
Carolina was at its height in the early 1980s under coach Dick Crum and the mid-1990s under Brown.
“Our goal is for it to be beyond where it was at those times. We had highly ranked teams but we weren’t competing for national championships,” Baddour said.
To get there, he said, “We’re going to need four or five years of the kind of recruiting we’ve already seen.”